Fortunately, Texas has a tiered driver’s license system in place for teen drivers. Teenagers in the State of Texas are allowed driving privileges in a series of steps. Every Parent should visit the Texas Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website prior to their child turning 15. The TXDMV’s website advises that, “Texas’s laws are designed to help teens gradually – and safely – build their skills and experience behind the wheel. The parents’ job is to know and enforce the laws.”
The TXDMV has developed a graduating driving system for teens due to some horrifying statists. According to the Department: Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in Texas and across the United States. Teens face the greatest risk of crashing during their first year of driving. One out of every five licensed 16-year-olds will be in a vehicle crash.
Teens are less likely than adults to understand the risks of driving because they lack experience. Also, their brains are still developing well into their 20s, affecting their judgment while driving. 306 Texas teens (ages 15-19) died in motor vehicle crashes in 2007.
As a result of these statistics, the Department has issued a letter to all parents, which reads in part, “Dear Parent or Guardian: Your teen has finally arrived at a time he or she has been looking forward to – learning to drive! This will be a memorable experience for both of you. As role model and coach, teens watch what their parents do and look to them for guidance and expertise.
The law requires you to certify that your teen has spent a minimum of 50 hours behind the wheel when he or she applies for an operator’s license. Ten of those hours must be at night. Either you or another responsible licensed adult over 21 years of age must always occupy the front passenger seat closest to the driver.
Take as long as necessary to ensure that your teen is ready to take the driving test and prepared to navigate the roads solo. Teach them to “Drive With Care – Courtesy, Attention, Responsibility and Experience.” Remember, “Experience eliminates errors!”
According to TxDPS, 153 teens were killed in traffic accidents in Texas in 2017. This is 153 families whose lives will never be the same. If you are the parent of a teenager, please take responsibility and visit the TXDMV’s website to learn how you can help prevent your teen from being involved in a traffic crash.
Finally, if your son or daughter is about to turn 16, and you have questions regarding adding him or her as a driver to your insurance policy, please feel free to contact The Law Group for a free consultation and review of your family’s auto insurance policy. I cannot stress this offer enough. If you want us to look at your automobile insurance policy, we will do it for free. We are not looking at selling you anything; however, we will give you our opinion on what coverages you may need to protect your family.
Too often we are contacted by parents whose son or daughter are injured in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Unfortunately, we learn that the at fault driver did not have “bodily injury” coverage to compensate the family. What is even more upsetting is when we learn that the parents of the injured child or teen did not select and purchase “Uninsured Motorist” coverage.
Please take the time to read and review your automobile insurance policy now to ensure that your family is insured and protected on our Texas roads! You do not want to be an accident victim before you can protect yourself or your family.